Thundersnow!

It's like having a thunderstorm but instead of rain you have snow!

Our winter here in the Ohio, Big Sandy, Kanawha and mountains has been the coldest and snowiest in more than a decade.  Numerous days with sub-freezing temperatures and several bouts of snow which have lead to multiple snow days for the kids.  We've had dry snows, wet snows, wind blown snows, sleet and ice this year.

There's one weather phenomenon some of you may have heard this winter and it's called "thundersnow!"   

Jackie Howard, from Ashland, KY sent me an e-mail the other day asking "Is there really thundersnow?"

The answer is yes!  There really is thundersnow.  It's like having a thunderstorm but you get snow rather than rain. 

Perhaps a few of you have heard the term "thundersnow" from us meteorologists. Rare as it may seem, thundersnow occurs in a heavy snowstorm. It is similar to a general thunderstorm that is in a form of rain, thunder and lightning, but thundersnow happens when the precipitation is in the form of plain snow.

The thundersnow occurs where there is a strong instability, along with plenty of moisture in the atmosphere, such as above a warm front. Thundersnow can happen whenever there is a heavy snowstorm.  But areas that are near large bodies of lakes, especially those that are prone to heavy "lake-effect" snow, may experience higher chances of thundersnow.

Many of you had thundersnow during the heavy snowstorm back in December and during a line of snow squalls earlier this month.

Have you experienced thundersnow?  Post your comments below and thanks for reading!

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